Weekly round up: articles on pricing, budget and sales call analysis.

Sales post; sales blog; sales blogs;
Some interesting reads

I call these posts “weekly round up” though, looking at when I posted a similar one previously, I should call it “yearly round up”. But anyway, I did come across two very interesting articles and one worth mentioning. One about pricing, one about budget and a last one doing some semantic analysis on sales calls.

The article about pricing presents the perspective of a pricing expert, Madhavan Ramanujam. Its core thesis is that companies should build product around a price, not around features. Whilst the article might be more applicable to companies building large scale consumer products (eg: cars) rather than, say, software companie, I have found it quite interesting. It is indeed possible to lead a sales engagement from a price point of view and then build around the offering that suits the price (something more suited for a service offering rather than a product offering admittedly). An interesting article with real world example worth reading.

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Five practical steps to take to run POCs / trials efficiently

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But do you want a trial that last 1000 days?

Photo credit: Steve Rhodes

“But Michael, you are using a competitor product. And they are a good company. So, whilst it is great you would want to do a POC with us, I am not clear on what specific issues you want to address and, assuming we can address them, what would happen afterwards. Could you help me with this?”

Michael could not help me with this. Michael was a partner for one of the major consulting firm in the world and was keen to do a POC to test the product of my start-up. Amongst other things, this would have meant to divert some of my technical resources to support said POC. So, whilst starting a process with a major brand was attractive for an early stage start-up I thought it was better not to pursue and decided to close the process here.

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The parallels between selling and a dealing with a recruiter

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It is a good looking CV. But has there been lot of questions asked before sending it?

Photo credit: Rebeca_CE

“You can find my CV attached for your consideration.”

I had just introduced a friend of mine to a recruiter as I thought the opportunity this recruiter sent me might of interest to him. Following the email intro, my friend responded and, right away, sent his CV through. I was taken aback. Why did he not ask questions before sending his CV?

I might be obsessed with asking as many questions as possible when interacting with people in a business context. But, seeing my friend sending his CV right after the introduction, I could not help to see the parallel between a recruitment process and a sales process, at least from a candidate point of view.

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Weekly round up: Some articles on “No”

Sales post; sales blog; sales blogs;
Some interesting reads with a focus on the dreaded word: “No”

Photo credit: nicoleneu1

Here are three posts I came across recently and found interesting and worth sharing. Strangely, two of these posts have a theme, a word that all sales people and business owners do not like: the dreaded word “No”…

1- “The answer to this question will make your sales skyrocket”. This is a very interesting article about a very simple question that can be asked to improve a sales process. You can find all details here but, in short, the question is: “What made you nearly say: No”. This question asked to actual customers is powerful in helping to understand what they went through during the process, what made them nearly walk away and, consequently, find what need to improve to avoid it. You could even think of it as a sort of NPS, Net Promoter Score or an NBS, Nearly-not Buyer Survey

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How to get a good sales stack in place

sales process; decision; driving decision
Sales technologies. Just like bales. They need to be stacked, not lying scattered

Photo credit: Kristofor McGreevy

I’ve just been through a hectic period, implementing sales processes and developing value proposition for technology companies. And admittedly I’ve had very little time writing… I am still fascinated to see how many technologies go to market with a value proposition that is focused on their technology and product rather than the problems they address. But marketing value proposition isn’t the focus of this blog.  I’ll focus on something known as sales stack. “Sales what?” do I hear you say. Good question. Let me take one step back.

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When talking about your product to prospects can put you in trouble…

Sales, question, questioning, process, spilling the beans
When you sale, do you spill the beans? Or do you ask question?

Photo credit: Phil

Greeks invented the democracy. And they had an interesting way of voting. They used beans. A white bean was a vote in favour of a motion, a black bean was a vote against. The vote had to be unanimous for the motion to go through. So should the jar with the bean topples and the beans fall down, revealing a black bean, it meant something had been revealed too early and the vote had to restart. Hence the expression spilling the beans…

Well, nearly…

This expression might not be entirely due to the Greek way of voting (it isn’t). But spilling the beans certainly applies to how we sale. And how we, sales people, love to share product knowledge when we should hold back.

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Weekly round up: posts on sales process, pricing and training

Sales post; sales blog; sales blogs;
Some interesting reads on process, pricing and training

Photo credit: nicoleneu1

Here is a brief round of interesting posts I have read, found particularly good and thought they were worth sharing.

First of all, a post from David Brock about the companies that believe they have a sales process but, actually, simply don’t. What I like beyond David rather dry sense of humour (notably on things like “gurus” in Linkedin), is the probing of companies that believe they have a process when, actually, it is not being followed or need some updating. The post is here.

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Three rules for good (or roughly decent) Linkedin profiles

Linkedin, linkedin profile, social selling, sales,
Is your IoT PaaS API in the cloud? Or does it actually address problems?

Photo credit: Hey_aventur

Hello, do you search for a PaaS that can make sure your multi-dimensional marketing strategy optimised in the cloud?

Are you still here? Wow, I am impressed. I would have switched off if I were you (don’t, I stop the jargon now!). And yet, this is what more often than not we find in both marketing literature and social/LI profiles. Technical jargons used for the purpose of (let’s not kid ourselves) selling either ourselves or the organisation we work for (even if we are not working in sales, more on this further down). Yet, as I’ve already mentioned (ad nauseam I would even say) the main reason people buy is to address problems they have. That’s what matters to them. At the risk of making you yawn, dear reader, we also know that it’s all about being social nowadays. And about creating engaging content. Right. It’s all well known isn’t? So we are all producing engaging content in our social profile that presents the problems addressed? Well, sadly, not quite so. Hence missing a good opportunity to get engaging (or less disengaging) profile content out there. I often come across very, very complex profiles on Linkedin that are presenting in length the technology at the heart of the service of their organisation. Here is a random example (click on picture for more details):

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How to identify the real problems people have, not just those expressed.

problems, expressed problems, real problem, solution sale, questions, sales questions
That’s a problem we’ve all had. But what was the real impact?

Photo credit: Andreas Overland

It was Friday afternoon. It was sunny. And I was just walking out of a meeting with a prospect with a big smile on my face. The prospect I just met had shared with me all her problems. It was all there in my notes. It was covering all these important business problems. She didn’t have the analytics on her marketing effort. Her company was selling online but she wasn’t clear what was the products that had the best ratio between visits and actual transactions. And many other very specific marketing analytics problems. And I knew how to solve all these issues with a great piece of tech I was selling. That weekend was to be a good one as I felt I was on my way to secure the deal.

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